Achieving memetic adaptability by means of fuzzy decision trees
Evolutionary Algorithms are a collection of optimization techniques that take their inspiration from natural selection and survival of the fittest in the biological world and they have been exploited to try to resolve some of the more complex NP-complete problems. Nevertheless, in spite of their capability of exploring and exploiting promising regions of the search space, they present some drawbacks and, in detail, they can take a relatively long time to locate the exact optimum in a region of convergence and may sometimes not find the solutions with sufficient precision. Memetic Algorithms are innovative meta-heuristic search methods that try to alleviate evolutionary approaches' weaknesses by efficiently converging to high quality solutions. However, as shown in literature, memetic approaches are affected by several design issues related to the different choices that can be made to implement them. This paper introduces a multi-agent based memetic algorithm which executes in a parallel way different cooperating optimization strategies in order to solve a given problem's instance in an efficient way. The algorithm adaptation is performed by jointly exploiting a knowledge extraction process, based on fuzzy decision trees, together with a decision making framework based on fuzzy methodologies. The effectiveness of our approach is tested in several experiments in which our results are compared with those obtained by some non-adaptive memetic algorithms.